You have to love February in England. You have to love it because it’s short.
That’s the only thing it’s got going for it other than it’s the month when Lashes was born.
I would have included Valentine’s day in February’s charms but since Valentine’s Day stopped being of any relevance at all to me many years ago I refuse to include it. So, that’s it then, February actually, now that I come to think about it, has two things going for it; Lashes’ birthday and it’s a short month.
Trudging through the woods this morning with Velcrodog it struck me how very grey and gloomy and depressing everything was. All I could see around me was various shades of grey. Even the dog was covered in mud and as grey as a February day. Sigh.
Not even the pathetic attempt at snow that was going on around me cheered me up. I’m calling it snow but in actual fact it was more like sleet. Thin, mean and miserly, not a bit like the big, fat, luscious snowflakes I love. If it was food it would have been gruel – and just about as exciting.
It was only last week that my friend and I had been sharing holiday stories and photographs with each other. What a lovely couple of hours we had.
She’s been to the Caribbean. Oh, the Caribbean with its beautiful bright warmth. With its colours so vivid and bright that they burn the retinas right off your eyeballs. We looked through her photographs and marvelled at the colour of the sea and the sky, the richness of the colours and the relaxed expressions on the faces of all the people.
Then we looked at my holiday photos from Finland. Gorgeous snow, pink and blue skies, northern lights, huskies, reindeer and fun. The expression on our faces was relaxed and happy.
Back to the real world.
No bloody chance of relaxed and happy expressions happening here. Most people have their faces screwed up and grim, shoulders hunched and head down rushing to get back to their homes and out of the grey and dreary glumness that is an English February.
God, it’s depressing.
Hieronymous Bosch must have been on exactly the same walk through the woods as me when he was inspired to paint his visions of hell.
I was shamelessly istening to a conversation between a mother and her young daughter the other day. The little girl was probably about four years old and her Mum was asking her opinion on a top she was considering buying.
“Shall I get it in the black or the pink, darling?”
“Really? Pink? Don’t you think I should get the black one?”
” No Mummy, pink.”
” I think “I’ll get the black.”
“Why, Mummy? The pink one is pretty.”
That was a question I was asking myself as well. Why do so many people lose that child like love of colour that we all seem to be born with?
What exactly is the age when we decide that camouflage suits us better than being bright and colourful?
I haven’t hit that age yet. It’s not unusual for me to go out looking a bit like an explosion in a paint factory but in all fairness, I was a colour and image consultant for ten years so I’m not a typical case and will probably always look a bit psychedelic when it comes to colour.
Quite often when I’m out and about I get so depressed by all the drab and boring colours people seem to gravitate towards. The town centre is a positive sea of black, navy and grey. Even dark brown seems to be a bit too radical for most people.
I wonder if it’s our climate that causes us to want to be surrounded by drab colours. I’m mean, just look at the work of Heironymous Bosch or H.R. Giger, both artists from the northern hemisphere, both have works of art that would scare that pants off you, dark, surreal, grim and frightening.
Caribbean people don’t have to put up with that sort of stuff. They use bright and vivid colours in their art , clothes and homes that reflect the gorgeous climate they live in. I definitely live in the wrong hemisphere. Sigh.
Yes, I know there are some swweeeeeeeping statements here but generally, you know what I mean, don’t you?
I’m just fed up because it’s still raining, I need sunshine!
Boofuls and me went to view a house this morning. Boofuls wasn’t that fussed about it but went along to humour me. It’s in a nearby village and we’d both said recently that we quite fancied dipping our toes into rejoining society and moving into a village. Mind you, I also said recently that I really didn’t want to move because I love it here and nothing we’d seen even came close to being as good.
Well, it does now! The house we saw this morning is loads better than we expected. Even Boofuls, who wasn’t keen to go and look was blown away by it. That of course means that I need a buyer for this house PRONTO!! So do me a favour and send out lots of positive vibes for a buyer for me. Full asking price only, please. Thanks.
It’s afir to say that it’s been a proper bag of poo round here since we got back from our hols. I’ve been trying my best to hold on to my sense of optimism and holiday found joie de vivre but it’s finally given up the ghost and now I’m as pissed off as everyone else round here. Woopy sodding do.
There isn’t a single person I know who isn’t going through some kind of trauma at the moment. The trauma’s in question range from the mildly irritating through depressing right up to downright life threatening.
Jeez, I’m so fed up I could buy a round!
Just to cheer me up – here are a few of my favourite holiday photos.
This plateful of food sounded so exotic on the menu. When it arrived it was in fact fancy fish, chips and mushy peas!
You get no prize at all, but I will be impressed, if you know what the full title is for ‘gay rum’.
Back in good old Blighty with a ton of stories to tell you.
First, though I have to get on with the fair sized mountain of washing and ironing that seems to have appeared in the utility room. That is, of course, in between the many naps we are taking to get over the jet lag.
I’m in the process of uploading the photos now so watch this space for all the holiday gossip.
Right up to the very last minute the pot filling job dominated our lives. On the day we were setting off on holiday I’d planned a nice morning coffee with C followed by a leisurely lunch and packing before setting off to our overnight hotel in Gatwick. Sounds like a plan, eh?
Making the mistake of popping in to the factory to see how things were going I was met by a stressed to the point of panic, Paul. “You’re going on your holiday so I can’t ask you to help……” the sentence tailed off while he looked at me with a hopeful, puppy dog look in his eye.
Well, who can resist that? It was off with my jumper and on with a set of coveralls which I soon realised were completely see through. As I ran through the office to find myself a white coat to put over them I heard a horrified voice behind me say, “Oh my God, is my mother topless?” The coveralls (which obviously didn’t) were swiftly topped by a white coat. the next two hours were spent on a filling machine. I scared the Polish staff half to death with my battle cry of, “the louder you scream, the faster we goooooooo” folowed by a loud scream from both me and Paul as I turned the machine up as far as possible.
What? Have they not got fairgrounds in poland? We all understood it.
Boofuls and me eventually set off for Gatwick about 4.30 and arrived 5 hours later, exhausted.
The next morning was a fairly early start, we jumped on the shuttle bus to the airport. Boofuls managed to bash himself in the eye with the hand strap and then jerked his head back in surprise only to bash it on a metal rail. Good start.
As for the flight, well, what can I say? What’s not to love about British Airways? It was like a pj day in the sky. Tucked up in a nice, fleecy blanket and wearing warm, fluffy socks watching Alice in Wonderland, chosen from the huge film library. Food and drink were brought to me at regular intervals by friendly and cheerful stewards. Mind you, when I say lovely food it does rather depend on your definition of lovely. While I tucked into bulgar wheat salad followed by thai green curry, Boofuls looked longingly at my bread roll and strawberry cheesecake while he pushed his food round his plate. I did take pity on him and let him have them.
I got the window seat so here’s the view:
I was amused by the HUGE black man sat in front of us on the plane. he kept his sunglasses on for the duration of the flight. What with that and his numerous gold chains, it looked like Stevie Wonder was sat in front of us. I kept waiting for him to start singing – he didn’t oblige though.
During the bumpy approach to St Lucia we were informed that there were storms. Storms? I can have storms at home, thank you. I’ll have sunshine thanks. It seems that they’d caught the tail end of a tropical storm and it had been raining steadily and heavily for a couple of days before we arrived. It cleared up nicely for us though and the sun shone like a shining thing.
Our welcome at the hotel made all the travelling worth it. I struggled to wipe the stupid grin off my face as the welcome was amazing – and so was the rum punch we were welcomed with!
This is the room and the view from our balcony. Not bad, eh? I could feel the stress of the last few weeks melting away by the minute. I took a few photos from the balcony – what a lazy photographer!
It was a strange thing about that first few days, I could track how we were starting to relax by our attitude toward things.
Day one: Travel weary, too tired to care
day two: Bored from suddenly having NOTHING to do after going like a steam train for weeks and a bit picky with each other.
Day three: Stress gone but knackered.
Day four: Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh, this is the life.
Days 5/6/7 We’re in paradise.
We watched the coconut whacking with great amusement. A man ran up a tree with a machete, whacked a few coconuts and branches to the ground and then ran down it again. For a few minutes coconuts rained down like giant raindrops. Amazing! To be honest it was better entertainment than the hotel provided – that was dire. After forcing ourselves to stay awake to watch the steel band we went to bed two minutes after they started playing. My ears hurt!!
Strangely enough Mr Snory didn’t snore at all while we were there, mind you, the bed was so huge that he could have been playing a one man band and I wouldn’t have known about it. He was practically a speck on the horizon, it was so enormous. I could get used to that.
Funny thing about our resort was that it was a wedding venue. Whole families with three or even four generations turning up to witness the nuptials of their family member. Strangely though, these whole families kept very much to themselves, it was almost as if they thought that by speaking to people outside of their group it would let in the real world and break the illusion of them having their own private tropical paradise wedding. It made for a very insular resort in some ways. it had an atmosphere the like of which we have never come across before. Smiles were usually returned by a stony stare from the whole group. As if they felt we were trying to gatecrash their party. Very odd.
It didn’t bother us though, we settled down to a routine of just being happy to be.
I loved the new shopping centre. Don’t you just love the bright colours? Loads better than our grey shopping centres and towns. It makes you happy just being there.
Big N has been given all his instructions: no parties, no dirty women, don’t drink all the alcohol, clean up occasionally and don’t forget that cats have stomachs, bladders and bowels as well so will need a bit of attention now and again.
No factory for me today so I can finally get on with packing and getting in the holiday mood. AND to make it even better, it’s pouring down with rain and as miserable as sin. Hehehee I bet it’s not raining in the Caribbean.
So, will you miss me when I’ve gone? I’m not taking a phone or laptop so there’ll be no blogging or facebooking while I’m away. This holiday is just for me and Boofuls. I will though be taking a journal with me. I do love my journal, so I can fill you in on the interesting stuff when we get back.
So, have a nice week, see you in a week or so. ‘BYE, ‘BYE, ‘BYE
What a brilliant time we had at bezzie mates yesterday. It was exactly what we needed – a bit of silliness to put the last couple of weeks well and truly behind us. And silly it was, in a big way.
Before we went we popped in to P & G’s for a chat and to give the kids a little Easter gift. While we were there C and the baby came round as well so we spent a happy hour planning our holiday in October. C thinks she wants to do one of those dives where you’re in a shark cage. She did visibly pale when she was told about a documentary on telly where the sharks decided they were getting in to eat the divers and bent the cage bars to do it. Dolphins are looking more attractive by the minute. I can cope with a couple of cute, well trained, smiley dolphins.
It’s still six months till we go away, I wish it was right now, I can’t wait. Two weeks in the Caribbean would just do nicely. Maybe I could get away with it by calling it an advance reconnaissance trip.
Over at bezzie mate’s the party was in full swing. Don’t you just love a party when there’s all ages from new born babies to old age pensioners there and everyone is getting on and having a good time? It was brilliant and an honour to be invited to a special family occasion like this, we loved it. Thanks, M & S.
We met her new grandson and his mum for the first time. The baby’s dad was walking round proud as punch showing off his son and beaming from ear to ear. Tiny babies are so squishy and lovely, I was enjoying a cuddle with him when E decided she was jealous and demanded a cuddle. Then she decided to steal the show and walked right across the room, not once but a dozen times!! She’s never walked more than a couple of steps before.
That made sure she got lots of hugs and attention, clever girl, that! Of course she wouldn’t do it when there was a proper video camera on her but i think someone did mange to film it. Don’t worry. I won’t be posting it on here and forcing you to watch it, I’m very well aware other people’s kids are as interesting as a gnat.
As we arrived a bit later than we’d planned, the buffet was looking a bit like a swarm of locusts had been round so bezzie mate quickly knocked up a few sandwiches for us. I was so grateful. How someone can forget to have their lunch is beyond me but forget I did, I was STARVING. One glass of bubbly in that state and I’d have been anybody’s, two glasses and I’d have been everybody’s!
We – ok – I drank far too much champagne and had far too much to eat. The birthday cake, a pretty red and white number was delicious. I’ve never had a sponge as soft as that in my entire life. That called for seconds.
As for the mystery trip. Well. He’s only been and gone and married her again! Arranged the whole thing at Gretna Green and gave her the wedding she always wanted. He worked really hard to get it all arranged the way he knew she would like it with a piper and everything and then managed to keep it all a secret from her. Wow!
In her own words, “you made my dream come true.” You big old romantic, Stu. Much kudos to him for that, he’s got enough brownie points to last him for the rest of his life! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when she was telling us about it. I’ll see if I can scrounge a picture of them at the anvil for you.
What about today, then? Not much. The weather is disgusting, It’s so windy that the wind isn’t whistling or howling it is actually rumbling round the house as I write. I’m a bit scared to let the hens out, they’ll be blown away. Which reminds me, a pheasant has decided to take up residence somewhere near our oil tank, it’s a beautiful thing but I think it’s a bit lost. In all the years we’ve lived here I’ve never seen a pheasant. It scared the hell out of the cats with it’s harsh call that sounds not unlike a large rusty gate squeaking.
The plan, when we finally get our backsides into gear is to go and buy C a new telly and to do a mammoth beautifying project on her house ready for the estate agent coming round tomorrow. After that it will be chilling out time. It’s been a busy Easter one way and another.
Rants, raves and ramblings about whatever takes my fancy